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Port-of-Spain — Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) announced on Tuesday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Scotiabank’s banking operations in Guyana, St. Maarten and the Eastern Caribbean territories, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

The purchase price is US$123 million, which represents US$25 million consideration for total shareholding of Scotiabank Anguilla Limited; and a premium of US$98 million over net asset value for operations in the remaining eight countries.

This price does not include any amounts required to capitalise the branches post-closing.

“The agreement, executed on Tuesday signalled the commencement of a transaction that is subject to all regulatory and other customary approvals and conditions,” according to a press release.

In making the announcement, Ronald F deC. Harford, Chairman of RFHL, said:

“This acquisition represents another major milestone for the Republic Group. As we grow and acquire significant positions in our existing markets, it is important that we continue to broaden our footprint, regionally and internationally.

“This agreement, which is subject to all regulatory approvals, affords us the opportunity to reach more clients in the Eastern Caribbean and Guyana, two markets we are familiar with, and build new relationships in St. Maarten. We are confident that our expanded presence or entrance in those markets will redound to the benefit of Scotiabank’s clients and employees as well as Republic’s existing stakeholders.

“I would like to thank Scotiabank for the confidence expressed in our ability to look after their valuable clients, and we are pleased that all impacted employees of Scotiabank in the nine countries will join the Republic Group.”

The Republic Group’s total asset base as at Sept. 30, 2018 stood at US$10.5 billion, with equity at US$1.5 billion and profits attributable to shareholders for the year ended Sept. 30, 2018 of US$198 million.

This acquisition will increase the Group’s asset size by approximately US$2.5 billion and will be accretive to the earnings of the Group by approximately US$0.20 per share.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. is advising RFHL on this transaction.

“Scotiabank is proud to work with the Republic Group — a leader in financial services in the Caribbean who is well positioned to invest and grow the business, and to provide customers across the region with leading financial solutions that meet their needs,” said Ignacio (Nacho) Deschamps, Group Head, International Banking at Scotiabank.

Harford explained that RFHL’s focus on seeking out expansion opportunities in the Caribbean is a testament to the Group’s confidence in and commitment to the Caribbean region.

He added: “We have a proven track record of adding value to the markets we enter, and we look forward to partnering with the teams in these territories to deliver excellence in customer satisfaction, employee engagement and social responsibility.”

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2 replies on “Republic Group acquires Scotiabank in eastern Caribbean”

  1. If memory of the Banking Act serves me right: Doesn’t this acquisition require the approval of the ECCB and perhaps even the relevant Ministers in each State?

    As seen in the press release in Antigua and Barbuda, this acquisition is far from being completed- if at all!

    Will this be a premature statement? Time will tell!

  2. Can somebody please tell me why the government and the opposition are so quiet on such significant transaction? Also, shouldn’t there be a statement of some sort from the ECCB, given that this transaction affects the region. I guess the cat was let out of the bag too soon but since this is about the Caribbean small islands the Bank and Canadian regulators wouldn’t consider this to be material non-public information.

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